j u l i a     m a d s e n


thick with immolation






Even though we weren’t fully clothed
I want to be pasted, I am always lighting your hair
but it may fractal an element I wanted to correct
couldn’t do it, standing outside of the service,
let you in. It is permissible to hang my clothing around your neck
I want to light your hair with two suns and your arms
will go everywhere I want to paste them put your clothes
back on. They take off lampshades and hang them in the trees
below which you, stooped over, wave a hose.1
I look at the yellow cusp of loop round which we adhere
my eyes are pasted I am fucked only as a matter of fact
that does not push beyond or make anything of itself
below the trees.2 Maybe it is too crisp to be holding onto the cusp
I lighten your throat with some elements I hold on to
your shoulders too crisp.3 They punch holes in the lampshades
holding holy holy hole stooped over a hose.
They put the loop on a necklace and let it adhere to my skin
as a punishment for eyes to be held at I want to be fractal.4
A crisp element falls from the lampshades hanging for days
and they felt like a loop I couldn’t hold on to and they were wearing me
out but I want to adhere only as a matter of fact even though
the hose is waving over us and trying to unpaste
I’ll just open my throat. Your hair darkens and was limp
as my clothing around your neck.5 Sometimes the yellow loop
is like a lozenge shrouded in a long throat that never dissolves
but develops holes, sharp holes, and all the light comes out of them.

1“Moral treatment particularly insisted upon by the ancients”

2“A case of insanity, in which it is probable that moral treatment would have been attended with success”

3“The absence of the means of moral treatment in the above case to be highly regretted”

4“The advantages of restraint upon the imagination of maniacs illustrated”

5“The treatment of maniacs to be varied according to the specific character of their hallucination”




They are not even come close because echo
and they fractal they flinch the elements grow unconnect
we don’t wait outside the service for them because
they are leaking.6 Our flesh was sticky with absinthe
light mutes through the emolument
there is a scum surrounding the trees.
There is a scum surrounding the trees.
I am pasted at the throat holder onto your
we switched clothes I told you to let the lampshades hover
over us until everything became melt at the edges.
Maybe I’ll unfasten your hair and we’ll take off our clothes again maybe
that’s how they knew we impert when we walked into the service
and shed our clothes in front of them and the hose leaked the punishment was
stuck at the throat and clotted with abstinence.7 A pert milk
curdled on my tongue when the hose flips we become emolument
but they are not even close I don’t want to wait outside for them.
I let me go of my cusp, the loop off of, the sun
and stoop over the melted edges8 in a thick breeze the lampshades
swinging pendulously over your breasts.
When I paste my tongue on skin the sun fractals
when I paste my tongue I loosed me of my necklace so it won’t
the emolument became thick and curdled like milk
your limbs crisped in the pendulous sun. Even the hose dries up
I want to put my tongue at the sharp edges of a lozenge9
when all the wetness loses significance and won’t remain fucked
I let go a little to help you out of your skin and stand you
back up again but I couldn’t do it.10 Hovering and my hot neck
unbitten I’m not intoxicated yet but I’m getting there
I’m not stumbling in the sun yet but I’m sometimes it stops
burning and the blisters in the scum surrounding the trees
unblist there’s no reason to let go of you but
there’s no reason not to be afraid that I might.

6“Insanity from religious enthusiasm extremely difficult to cure”

7“A limited degree of liberty recommended to be given to madmen confined at lunatic institutions”

8“The most violent and dangerous maniacs described, with expedients for their repression”

9“The necessity of maintaining constant order in lunatic asylums, and of studying the varieties of character exhibited by the patients”

10“The physical and moral qualities essential to the successful management of lunatic asylums”


* The words in quotes are chapter titles in section II of Phillipe Pinel’s A Treatise on Insanity (1806).


JULIA MADSEN lives in Providence and is currently attending Brown University’s Literary Arts MFA for poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Caketrain, Devil’s Lake, Black Warrior Review, Versal, and CutBank.

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